Tag, you’re itMar 7th, 2013 | By James Washington
| Category: 2013-03-07, Sports, Spring 2013, Top Headlines
Written by James Washington
At the end of a season, the concept of a team sport is completely thrown out the window by players in favor of “my” money.
Many athletes are willing to drop everything in one city and move elsewhere in search of immediate success.
I do not see anything wrong with this, but it is incredibly easy to see why team owners are upset.
The National Football League has a creative way to avoid total disappointment of the owners.
In the NFL, players that are nearing the end of their contracts may be designated by their team as a franchise player. Any player that is given this label is given a one-year deal that is equal to either the average of the top five players at his position in the league (salary-wise) or 120 percent of the franchised player’s salary from the previous year.
What the franchise tag does is prevents a certain team from losing a valued player to a free agency if the team and player cannot agree on a new contract.
Take notes, NBA.
Over the last 20 years, the National Basketball Association has fallen victim to teams that many would refer to as powerhouses. In a 30-team league, there are usually only few teams that pose threats for championship runs. And, in contrast to college basketball, since the NBA’s playoff system set as four rounds of seven-game series, it is rare that these one of these powerful teams fails to reach the championship plateau.
Just to put things in perspective, with a franchise tag in place, we may never have seen LeBron James team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. We may have never seen Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joining forces with Paul Pierce in Boston or Kobe Bryant teaming with Shaquille O’Neal in Los Angeles.
In some instances, teams are able to move on after losing their star players. Cleveland has started a rebuilding process around Kyrie Irving, and after trading away Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets are arguably better than were when he was a member of the team.
On the opposing side, however, if the NBA used franchise tags, there may still be franchises in Seattle and New Jersey, and we may not be witnessing a potential buyout to move the Sacramento Kings. In the early 2000’s, the Kings were a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference of the NBA. Now, they are a bottom-feeder struggling to find their niche. Many teams struggle tremendously due to lack of marketing after stars leave their respective cities.
On one hand, I can’t blame the player. The desire to win immediately is too large to ignore a potential move to perennial contender. But, in the end, I find myself looking at it from a business standpoint, and stars fill seats. Losing stars leads to financial slumps, and a franchise tag in the NBA would be a major step in helping struggling franchises avoid these drops.